"We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd" - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Spring break this year felt a little like winter break, am I right?
We made the most of it by hanging out and having fun around the house. Playing with favorite toys, games, and baking filled our days.
I had pictured a spring break filled with puddle jumping but instead we jumped on the bed. It was much warmer and everyone had just as much fun.
Sugar cookies are usually our go to for Easter baking but this year we opted for bird nests made from rice crispy squares and mini eggs. The best part was the kids were able to do everything independently and the clean-up was much easier.
Here is to hoping for warmer days ahead but until then we will be perfectly happy finding fun things to do while staying warm and dry indoors.
With the kids back in school this week it sure is quiet around here. This Christmas break we opted to stay close to home. We watched movies, stayed in our pajamas all day, played board games, and gave the kids the time to just be their silly selves. I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love watching the relationship they have with one another. I love how if given the opportunity they will use their imaginations and play for hours on end.
I focused on being in the moment this holiday season which meant not picking up my camera and documenting all of the moments but taking them in and experiencing them. I took the break for me and them. Taking the time to play 50 games of monopoly (seriously soooo much monopoly!) instead of photographing it. We spent the days cuddling, playing, and baking. It was a much needed break to refocus, re-energize and get ready to tackle 2018.
Spending this time as a family really draws attention for me, to the fact that everyone really is growing, changing and maturing so quickly. Some days it seems they wake up a whole year older. So I did take a few moments to quickly capture the silliness the was ever present during this break, and I am so glad I did.
I fell in love with documentary photography when I started to realize just how quickly my own children were changing. Realizing that the photographs that I love most are the ones where my children are doing things that they love, in their own environment, just being themselves. Seriously they grow so quickly! This is something we hear all the time but I never really understood it until I sat back and realized that favorite shirt they used to wear, or stuffed animal they carried around, the way they wouldn’t eat that sandwich at lunch unless it was cut into perfect squares with the crust removed, how they used to reach to be picked up all the time, or play with my hair as we sat and watched their favourite show, all of those moments are behind us.
At the time though, when my kids were really young, I was focused on getting through the day, or maybe just getting through that hour, making our way to nap time. We were busy learning our shapes, alphabet, colors, potty training, learning to read, teaching them chores. And don't get me wrong all those amazing things that I miss so much have all been replaced with equally awesome things, but the difference is, now I capture them. Sure back then I stopped to take some photographs but if I am being honest there are a lot of smile and look at the camera photos. I captured their faces as they were, their size, sometimes their personalities shone through, but those aren’t my favorite photographs.
My favorites are the ones where they are concentrating on building that big block tower, reading their favorite book for the 100th time, practicing their piano lesson. Those photographs where I found them asleep laying on top of literally all the books they own, or cuddling with their teddy bear quietly in their room. Those photographs where they are playing together, being silly and you can almost hear their laughter through the image. All of those photographs are my favourites and what have brought me to documentary photography. Real life moments.
Documentary family photography allows the real moments to be captured. Those family interactions, personalities, those little gestures that they are sure to outgrow. The silliness of childhood, the carefree moments, the calm moments, the sad moments, and everything in between. There is no need to pick out those matching outfits, no need for perfect hair, leave that stack of favourite books on the table, keep those toys on the floor, bring out their favourite blanket, let them wear their favourite shirt. Hey, maybe layer it up with some items from their dress up bin. I go into a documentary session with the goal of freezing these special moments in time. The moments that as we go through the day, seem ordinary but are the most missed as we grow, change, and age.